Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cold Halloween, Hot Keyboard

One evening this week--Sunday or Monday, I can't remember which--the kids and I sat in front of a DVD movie (The Corpse Bride) and put together goodie bags for the trick-or-treaters. Call it a quirk, but I've almost completely stopped giving out candy on Halloween. I go to the party outlet and buy silly little Halloween trinkets and gizmos like plastic spider rings, skeletons, rubber eye balls, rats, pens, etc. to stuff into little bags instead of candy. I figure that most kids are going to come home with more candy than they should consume in a year's time anyway. I'd rather not add to it. That said, I admit that I was a hypocrite and gave my own kids bags that consisted of Harry Potter chocolate frogs complete with wizard cards, Harry Potter cockroach clusters, and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. I mean, come on! It's Harry Potter candy, which is so expensive that it isn't worth it to buy it more than about once a year anyway. It seems that Jelly Bellies has outdone themselves this year by adding two new flavors to the Beans: Bacon and Deviled Egg, I think they were. Yum.

Anyway, we had a lot of goodie bags left over because we didn't get as many trick-or-treaters as we expected. It was cold, cold, cold outside. Gary took the kids around and walked the German Shepherd, and when they got back, the kids dropped the candy and headed straight to the kitchen for some hot chocolate. Andromeda headed straight for her bed, where she curled up and tucked her nose underneath her tail. Poor puppy. The kids tucked her in underneath their jackets, and finally she got warmed up again. She had been starving to death as a stray before we adopted her; I guess even after the three months of good food, she still needs to put on more of a fat layer. If I'd have thought about it, I'd have put one of the kids' jackets on her before she went out.

The time from last week into this one was crazy. Last Friday, I went to a drama performance with a Halloween theme because a friend was going to be in it and asked me to come. Saturday was our party. Sunday was a party held at another friend's house, which I couldn't go to and sent the family instead because I had a writers' meeting. Then Monday gave us barely any time to catch our breath before Tuesday's usual Halloween craziness ensued. How I thought I'd actually get my chapters mailed off to my agent before Halloween, I have no idea. However, I do have things almost ready to go.

The Moxie reviewed my first nine chapters (sans Chapter 7 because somehow I missed printing it out in my haste before the meeting). It took them several hours to read through the whole thing, and I have to say that they are the most amazing crit group ever! I saw how carefully they were going over every page. They found all my little inconsistant details and snafus, and now I'm in the process of editing and polishing those chapters to make them submission-ready. I still need to finish writing Chapter 10, which I believe to be the midway crisis point of the book. Word-wise, it doesn't fall exactly in the middle of the manuscript, which was at the end of Chapter 8. I need to get chapters 7 and 10 to the Moxie for review, finish all the edits, and then format, print and mail. Now that all the Halloween craziness is over, I estimate that I have perhaps one more week's work to do before it hits the Post Office.

On the downside, I wanted it mailed before Halloween, dang it! Bob estimated somewhere between the end of October and the first week or so of November, so technically I'm still in the ball park. On the upside, I'm more than halfway through the whole manuscript, and unless it needs a huge rewrite or some other drastic change, I'll have only six more chapters to go to finish the whole book. I'm looking at maybe being done by Christmas, or mid-January at the latest. (Crossing fingers, thinking good thoughts....!)

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